On Our Plate: Best Brunches; Long Island Restaurant Week; Penn Graduation Reservations

Dive into delicious dishes, like these enchiladas from Besito, during Long Island Restaurant Week, which runs April 28-May 5

Happenings on and around OpenTable…

* We’re celebrating the 2013 Diners’ Choice Award winners for Top 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in the U.S. Find out where to take mom for Mother’s Day brunch!

* What are diners raving about in recent OpenTable restaurant reviews? Morel mushrooms.

* Looking for a great gift for mom for Mother’s Day? Try a Treatful.

* We’re reminding folks to stand with the #BOSTONSTRONG community. Learn how.

* Long Island Restaurant Week is going strong. Enjoy $27.95 three-course dinners through May 5. Book a table.

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World’s Top 50 Restaurants; Social Media Helps Right Dining Injustices; Fish Collars + More News

Piquillos Rellenos Jose Garces-style at Amada.
Piquillos Rellenos Jose Garces-style at Amada in Philadephia.

* The World’s Top 50 Restaurants list is out. Congratulations to Eleven Madison Park (#5), Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (#7), Per Se (#11), The Ledbury (#13), Pujol (#17), Le Bernardin (#19), Daniel (#29), The Fat Duck (#33), and The French Laundry (#47). [Fox News]

* Don’t you know who I am? The daughter of a government official in Mexico misused her influence to shutter a restaurant for not seating her at the table she wanted. Enter the Twitterati. Maximo Bistrot has since reopened and apologies continue. [Washington Post]

* Restaurant bans area man. An Albany restaurant operator forgot he was in the hospitality business when he asked a diner to leave — and never return. He, too, underestimated the power of social media. [TimesUnion.com]

* So, you want to open a restaurant? Read this list of do’s and don’ts first. [Richmond.com]

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OpenTable Diner Reviews Reveal Top 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in the U.S.

Just in time for Mother’s Day, we are pleased to announce the 2013 Diners’ Choice Award winners for Top 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in the United States. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 15,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Winning restaurants, which include Belga Café in Washington, D.C., Cookshop in New York, and RESTAURANT at Sunset Marquis in West Hollywood, are scattered throughout 26 states and the nation’s capital. The coastal states of California and New York have the greatest number of best restaurants for brunch, with 17 and 13, respectively. The South made a strong showing, with Florida claiming 8 winning restaurants and Georgia with 7 honorees. Texas and Washington, D.C. restaurants earned five places apiece, while Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington each have four.  Illinois and Pennsylvania each have three award winners, while Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, and Missouri have two. Arizona, Delaware, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin are also represented.

Belgian, Creole, French, Mediterranean, and Mexican fare are featured; however, American cuisine handily dominates the list.

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Trending on Recent OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Morel Mushrooms

morelsThere’s this great myth that when spring arrives, a bounty of ingredients comes with it. In actuality, spring ingredients find their way onto menus at a slow trickle. Outside of asparagus, peas, ramps, and other leafy greens, one spring arrival that packs amazing flavor and texture is the morel mushroom. A favorite of foragers, morel mushrooms taste downright meaty and will turn even hardcore carnivores into fans. It’s so popular that there are websites devoted solely to celebrating the sponge mushroom. Lovely with pasta and risotto or paired with almost any protein, mushrooms are an antioxidant and a good source of vitamins B2, B3, D, as well as copper, selenium, and potassium. Find out what OpenTable diners are saying about this fun fungi in recent restaurant reviews.

Bartlett Pear Inn, Easton, Maryland: “Dinner there was excellent. The fresh morels and truffles were a delight.”

Bistro du Midi, Boston, Massachusetts: “For dinner, we enjoyed a special of housemade tagliatelle with morels, trumpet mushrooms, asparagus, fava beans, peas, and sun-dried tomatoes. Divine!”

Bluegrass Tavern, Baltimore, Maryland: “The food was terrific, and I would classify ourselves as foodies and picky. I had the morel and fava pot pie. It was silky and really punched the flavor on the morels.”

Bouchon at The Venetian, Las Vegas, Nevada: “Amazing food! And the specials really are special! The morel mushroom and asparagus tagliatelle in lemon butter sauce was so good, I could have had three.”

Crush, Seattle, Washington: “Lummi Nation halibut was outstanding in a preparation of morels/nettle sauce.”

Golden Pheasant Inn, Erwina, Pennsylvania: “We shared a delicious kale salad with locally foraged morel mushrooms,  and for entrees we had the shrimp and salmon. The food was exquisite, perfectly seasoned and prepared.”

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